and quiet for that study in which, he had said, 'the spirit still its surest food must find,' it was too late. There is no more pathetic line in his works than that of the ninth stanza of the last canto of the Lusiads :

A fortuna me faz o engenho frio.


PORTUGUESE history, rich in heroic and romantic episodes, did not, during its first five centuries, inspire great epic poems. Yet in the sixteenth century, in Portugal's new glory, a great national epic had become an aspiration among the more serious Portuguese poets. Garcia de Resende had regretted in 1516 that the Portuguese were so careless in recording their deeds, and his collection of verse in the Cancioneiro Geral proved that his complaint was not unfounded. Sá de Miranda was the first to revolt against these frivolous Court verses.

Barros had expressed a wish for a more heroic poetry to correspond to his own epic Decadas, and Antonio Ferreira kept advising his friends to attempt the epic flight : Andrade Caminha, whose waxen artificial wings were unlikely to raise him more than a few inches from the ground; Diogo Bernardez, whose genius was not sufficiently universal ; Diogo de Teive, who answered him in Latin :

Lysiadum jubes ut maxima regum

Facta canam. While the poets of Sá de Miranda's school were thus debating as to who should confer immortal glory on the name of Portugal, a greater than Sá de Miranda was among them, preparing himself for the task. Camões in his youth before leaving Lisbon, in the fourth eclogue (Cantando por umvalle docemente, promises at love's inspiration to rival Homer and Virgil (115), and he no doubt early fixed on Ariosto's ottava rima as the suitable metre for his epic; in this metre he composed some of his first short poems. When were the Lusiads written ? Faria e Sousa alleges that João Pinto Ribeiro told him that Camões awoke one morning at Sofala or Mozambique with the idea of the epic in his mind, a story which probably originated in the fact that Couto had found Camões revising the Lusiads at Mozambique in 1569. From a passage in

the Lusiads (x. 128) we may infer that the poem was practically complete at the end of 1558.

Dr. Storck considers that the wish to celebrate his country in

first came to him on his journey (which he places in 1542) from Coimbra to Lisbon, during which he would see Batalha, Alcobaça, and other famous monuments of Portugal's earlier greatness. It is extremely probable that he was at work on the Lusiads for twenty years (1550—70), but the period of concentrated work on the poem may perhaps be narrowed to 1555-8. Critics who do not think it very proper for any literary masterpiece to be begun elsewhere than in prison hold that Barros' first Decad, published twelve days after Camões' arrest in che Rocio, inspired him to begin his epic; but in very truth Camões was probably thinking more of Borges than of Barros at that time. The third and fourth cantos, describing the early history of Portugal, may have been begun or finished before he sailed in 1553, but it was his voyage to India which revealed to him his opportunity of describing Vasco da Gama's famous voyage in the light of his own personal experience, and this now became the poem's central theme, round which he wove the reading of his earlier and later years. He drew from the antiquarian Resende, from the early chronicles of Portugal, contemporary historians of India, and many other sources (116). The first eighteen stanzas of the first canto were added late, probably at Lisbon in 1570, as were the last stanzas of the poem (x. 145-56), in which he speaks of his country as sunk in 'hũa austera, apagada e vil tristeza ? It is very interesting to compare the dedicatory stanzas in Canto I (6-18) with those addressed to King Sebastian at the end of Canto X (145-56). In his commentary Epiphanio Dias considers that a comparison between the last two stanzas of the poem and the fifteenth stanza of Canto I shows the long interval of time between the beginning and end of the Lusiads'


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